Political capital is a term which is always invoked right after a politician is newly elected, or re-elected. It more or less equates to the concept of benefit of the doubt. In 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected by a slim margin of 51%-48%, he claimed a wide mandate for his agenda, and openly spoke of using his accrued political capital. His chosen agenda item was a tremendously unpopular scheme to re-cast the social security program. Mr. Bush over-reached by a mile, and that failure ultimately began the long downslope of his presidency, really just a few months after being re-elected. It remains to be seen how long President Obama will be able to keep such a high degree of public goodwill, while implementing programs which can be divisive.
It would be difficult to overstate just how good Ryan Clady was in his rookie season. I was trying to think of just how a person would go about doing so, and decided to float a bunch of test statements, and evaluate them for overstatement.
Entering the 2008 re-loading season, I was pretty down on our offensive line. The 2007 season saw the worst performance by the group since Mike Shanahan had become Head Coach in 1995. Particularly in pass protection, the performance was just atrocious, especially over the last 4 games of the season. It is fair to say that i considered the deficiency to be no less profound than the deficiency we see on defense heading into this re-loading season. The starting five at the end of 2007 was a pretty motley bunch: Matt Lepsis, Chris Kuper, Chris Myers, Montrae Holland, and Erik Pears.
As I noted in The Fall of the Denver Rushing Attack, there's been some romanticism when it comes to evaluating the Denver Broncos and their running backs over the years. Obviously, there are many significant factors that support this sentiment, as Mike Shanahan and Company (Bobby Turner, Alex Gibbs, Rick Dennison) turned Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson from 6th-rounders into elite NFL running backs. Mid-round picks (Denver's and other teams') like Olandis Gary and Reuben Droughns found major success in Denver as well. Clinton Portis and Tatum Bell were also quite productive as Broncos, but they were 2nd-rounders. Therein lies something of a problem. TD and Anderson begot a reputation (or myth) that Shanny and Turner could turn anyone into a quality NFL runner.
Since everybody likes my stuff at its shallowest and most nearsighted, I am going to try hard to stick with that program this week, as always. Thing is, to make the point I am going to attempt to make, I'll necessarily be borrowing from some pretty deep and farsighted economic concepts. Just take comfort in knowing that somebody else thought of them, not me, and try hard to picture me as just the meathead football guy who talks about what players and teams and games look like on video. Thanks in advance. Ready,,,,,,,,,, BEGIN.
Some posts have recently noted that one option, perhaps our best, would be using Peyton Hillis as an 'H-back'. I did a little digging, asked our resident authorities some questions and came up with a short analysis that I'd like to share.
H-back. For what it's worth, I'm not sure this is the best role for Hillis this year: at the least, not his only one. We probably are in need of him at RB, but we know that McD does value versatility. If that's the case, there's really no reason to limit Hillis to one role or the other. While his running style might create the potential for some injuries, it does reduce others. It's always better to be the hitter than the hittee, and Hillis likes hitting people when he runs. Since he also catches well and blocks fairly well in certain situations, we can use him in different roles. After all - that's one idea of the function of the H back. But first, let's define our terms.
In 2008, most people would agree that Brandon Marshall had quite a year.
He started the 2008 regular season off with a multiple-game suspension for several incidents of off-field unbecoming conduct, a suspension which Commissioner Goodell reduced to a single game after an appeal. Earlier in the spring, he gave differing explanations of how he fell through the glass door of an entertainment center, severely injuring his right arm. But Brandon returned from his off-season escapades with a recovering arm and a changed attitude – sort of. As Jay Cutler later put it,
"Brandon will be Brandon."
Happy Monday to you, or whatever day it might be as you read this, from the Department of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations. It's been a slow news week for the Broncos and the NFL, but that can't slow us down. Ready, begin...
The change to a 3-4 alignment has become increasingly popular in the NFL, as have integrating the hybrid formations. There are several reasons: Although their roots are several decades old, like all alignments, they are most recently emerging in response to the increasingly complex offenses and to rule changes that favor the offense.
Like every approach, they have strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths is the availability of linebackers who are otherwise ‘tweeners' - those who are too big for the more-traditional 4-3 formations, yet who lack the size and strength for the 4-3 DE position, much less the two-gap 3-4. Our colleges turn out many of these players each year, and with the growing 3-4 movement, the best of them can have a solid career in the NFL. And that's where Cody Brown comes in.
From 1995-2008, the Denver Broncos under Mike Shanahan's leadership were known to run the ball about as well as any team in the NFL did anything. The Denver running game was on a par with the Baltimore defense, the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf, and the KC return games with Dante Hall. That is to say, Denver's rushing attack developed quite a reputation over the years, especially as Shanny turned late-rounders like Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson into stars. The word has been "anyone can run in the Denver offense," and "Mike Shanahan turns watery running backs into wine." Well, perhaps both appear to be true, but we as Broncos fans know the truth - Shanny, Bobby Turner, Alex Gibbs and later Rick Dennison put together a beautiful system to run in and found players to fit that system at relatively low prices in the draft. No, they did not turn bad running backs into great ones - they simply found the best players to feature in their one-cut, zone-block scheme. One of them happened to be an all-time great runner, perhaps the greatest in NFL Playoffs History, Hall of Fame snubs aside. But that, of course, is for another post.